It’s Memoir Week On My Blog where I’ll be reviewing memoirs and catching up with some memoir authors. First up is Life Before Frank by Frank Kusy
As a huge fan of Frank Kusy’s wonderfully writtenmemoir series about his adventures and misadventures through India and beyond I was intrigued to hear that he’d written another sequel, or rather a prequel about his earlier years.
This is another enjoyable journey with Frank were we hear about his childhood, teenage years and his life as a rather troubled young man. The title of the book refers to his real name of John before he decided to call himself an exotic Franck, later changed to the more sensible Frank.
Frank sadly lost his Polish father as a young child and through his Hungarian mother learns about his father’s heartbreaking history as a prisoner of war in Siberia and his strength of character which brought him through that difficult time.
One can’t help wondering how different life might have turned out for Frank had his father lived to be a steadying influence throughout his life. His irrepressible character would probably still have shone through though regardless.
His mother married again and the relationship with the new stepfather wasn’t a great one. Sent to a local Jesuit school for his Catholic education was a harsh time in his life but he managed to rebel against the often cruel disciplinarian teachers in true Frank style that was often hilarious but probably not for him at the time. Having lived through a Catholic convent education taught by nuns I can empathise entirely!
The book takes us through Frank’s teenage years and we have glimpses of his entrepreneurial character buying and selling anything from old coins to stamps and working on a second hand book stall run by a friend of Ronnie Kray.
On through his university years and with his bright intellect it’s no surprise to learn that he was accepted at Cambridge but chose Cardiff to be free of his mum’s apron strings.
After leaving college he tries his hand as a careers advisor, trainee journalist and astrology with before going off to Israel to work on a kibbutz where the work and bullying supervisors were a shock to his system.
As always throughout his life Frank attracts some colourful characters in his wake and writes about them and his experiences in such an entertaining, enjoyable, self- deprecating, honest way that is often hilariously funny.
I hope there are more memoir books from Frank because there is no-one else quite like him. Perhaps we his fans should all club together to send him on a long trek somewhere exotic and he can write about the experiences and people he meets. Better still, a magazine, periodical or TV production company should employ him as a travel writer. One of the best travel writers I’ve ever read
About Frank Kusy
Born and raised in the fog-shrouded streets of 1960s London, and with more than 30 years of travel writing experience under his belt, aspiring Buddhist and incorrigible cat-lover Frank Kusy is a SUNDAY TRIBUNE RECOMMENDED AUTHOR and a four-time Gold Medal Winner on the Harper Collins Authonomy site. He has been awarded the AIA Awesome Indies Seal of Excellence for his flagship book ‘Rupee Millionaires’, and has been a featured author on several promotional sites, including BookBub, Pixel of Ink, Indie Book Bargains and FreeBooksy. His books have received international press acclaim, and have made the Kindle Top 100 List several times, his first published book, ‘Kevin and I in India’, climbing as high as #5. In April 2015 his children’s book ‘Ginger the Gangster Cat’ won a Gold medal on the prestigious Wishing Shelf Independent Book Awards for 6 to 8 year olds, though this and the sequel ‘Ginger the Buddha Cat’ appeal as much to adults as to children.
**Check out Frank’s book store at http://frankkusybooks.weebly.com/
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